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2001 MLS All-Star Balloting Kicks Off on Saturday, May 19

CHICAGO (Thursday, May 17, 2001) - Major League Soccer fans will determine the starting lineups for the MLS All-Star teams as part of 2001 MLS All-Star Fan Balloting presented by Pepsi and Toys "R" Us. Official 2001 MLS All-Star ballots and entry forms will be available at MLS stadiums and Toys "R" Us stores nationwide beginning May 19 through July 4.

Once again, MLS Official Sponsor Yahoo!(r) is the exclusive online host of MLS All-Star fan balloting and fans may choose to vote in English or Spanish online at . With each online ballot, fans will automatically be entered in the 2001 MLS All-Star Sweepstakes for a chance to win a grand prize trip for two to MLS Cup 2001 in Columbus, Ohio.

The 2001 MLS All-Star Game will be televised nationally from Spartan Stadium in San Jose, California on Saturday, July 28, 2001 at 13:30 p.m. (EDT), live on ABC and ESPN International, bringing the match to more than 130 countries around the globe.

The sixth annual MLS All-Star Game features two teams of MLS players representing their MLS clubs to comprise the East (Columbus, D.C., MetroStars, Miami, New England and Tampa Bay) and West (Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Kansas City, Los Angeles and San Jose) squads. MLS All-Star fan balloting runs from May 19 to July 4, and allows fans to select their All-Star starters for both the East and West All-Star squads and simultaneously enter the sweepstakes drawing. Starting lineups will be announced on Thursday, July 12.

One lucky fan will win a grand prize trip to MLS Cup 2001 in Columbus, Ohio as part of the 2001 MLS All-Star fan balloting sweepstakes. One (1) first prize and two (2) second prizes featuring Toys "R" Us gift cards will also be awarded ($1,000 and $500 respectively.) Along with the entry form for the sweepstakes, the ballot also features tear-off coupons for a free liter of Pepsi with purchase and $5 off an MLS soccer ball redeemable exclusively at Toys "R" Us stores.

To vote, fans must use an official entry ballot where selected MLS players, their position and MLS team are listed for selection. Fans will choose the starting lineups for the Eastern and Western All-Star teams by selecting 11 players for each team; one goalkeeper, three defenders, five midfielders and two forwards (a sample ballot follows). If a player is not listed, space is provided for write-in votes.

Completed ballots may be returned to in-stadium ballot boxes on team "Balloting Days" (see attached schedule), at participating Toys "R" Us stores, or mailed to "MLS 2001 All-Star Balloting Sweepstakes", P.O. Box 899122, East Weymouth, MA 02189-9122. Children 18 years of age and younger are ineligible to vote and enter the sweepstakes online. A random drawing of votes will take place by an independent judging organization to determine the 2001 MLS All-Star Sweepstakes winner. The deadline for all mail-in entries is July 9, 2001.

Fans may also find ballots at more than 400 soccer specialty stores nationwide as part of the 2001 MLS All-Star fan balloting program. Details on this additional program that ends on July 1, can be found at participating soccer specialty retailers.

Tickets for the 2001 MLS All-Star Game are $38 for "Core" seating, $28 for "Shaker" seating, and $20 in the "Rumble" section. Tickets in the Epicenter are currently sold out. Individual tickets may be purchased at Earthquakes home games, by calling at (408) 998-2277, in-person at outlets at local Raley's and Knob Hill Food locations, or on-line at Substantial discounts are also available for groups of 20 or more by calling the San Jose Earthquakes Box Office at (408) 985-STAR.

From July 25 to July 29, Major League Soccer will host numerous family-oriented events, activities and tournaments at Spartan Stadium and around the San Jose area. The MLS All-Star Game is the main attraction of a weekend extravaganza of soccer-themed events and programs. Fans are invited to join the festivities of the 2001 MLS All-Star Weekend by participating in or watching the many scheduled events such as the Kellogg's All-Star Bowl, MLS New York Life Dribble, Pass & Shoot(tm), Soccer Celebration, got milk? 3V3 Soccer Shootout, or root for their favorite players at the MLS All-Star Skills Competition presented by Pepsi.